Tried: 1992 Lexus SC400 Rewrites the Sport

Tried: 1992 Lexus SC400 Rewrites the Sport

From the Archive: Beautifully styled, prominently refined, and incredible to drive, Lexus sc400 first large car offered a striking expression for Toyota’s beginning extravagance brand.

On the Lexus LS400 four­ entryway, “LS” means “Extravagance Sedan”; “SC” represents the new “Sports Coupe.” But who needs assistance? Your eyes fold over this high-type roadster and yell Sport! Drop the mallet and your foot yells it stronger than the motor. Switch great and hard for a cornering advantage and your internal ear snorts out the message.

The SC400 weighs 246 pounds, not exactly the car. It puts the force duplicated by its more limited first-apparatus and last drive proportions to great use. The car takes off from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds contrasted and 7.9 for the vehicle. The roadster clears the quarter-mile in 15.2 seconds at 93 mph, versus the car’s 15.9 at 90 mph. That presentation likewise closes down SC400 contenders, for example, the new Acura Legend car, the Mercedes 300CE, and the Cadillac Eldorado. Passing traffic? No concerns: the SC gets itself and throws past.


On account of vented four-wheel circle brakes and electronic ABS hardware, the roadster’s 3694-pound mass prevents from 70 mph in 185 feet. The pedal feel came up soft, however, as though the warmth produced by the brakes kept them unable to manage the SC’s speed. Fortunately, added miles caused the halting to feel logical more grounded.

The roadster’s cornering tears the challenge open. The SC’s hook-like 0.86-g of hold is a sizable improvement over the LS’s 0.79-g cut off, and it effectively outperforms the steadiness of its rivals. Even better, Lexus’ car happily hangs out its tail to show the fair force oversteer of a strong back drive machine.

Nonetheless, we offer guidance for Bullet Bob and his SC: don’t pursue Cannonball Brock and his LS for maximum velocity respects. The LS’s taller equipping lets it loosen up to a 5-mph edge over the roadster’s 145-mph greatest. Among cars in its group, just the 147-mph Mercedes 300CE can better the SC in a top-end impact.

Inefficiency, the EPA says the SC and LS both get 18 mpg in the city. Our general midpoints of 16 mpg each affirm it.


HIGHS: Masterful styling, amazing quality, refined execution.

Any way you feel about a car offering euphoric solace encased in a jamboree ride, these are phenomenal numbers. They come enveloped by reflexive paintwork, beautiful cowhide, and fine trim. A two-memory work sets the driver’s seat, mirrors, and wheel to two preset blends. The close wonderful wheel ascends before an electroluminescent (signifies “sparkles in obscurity”) instrument design. Notwithstanding a generally remiss shoulder tackle, the firm seat holds you solidly before the large, splendid simple dials.

Looks? For a genuine outline of this shot from Toyota’s extravagance division, move high for an overhead view. This slug hits you like the shocker it is. It rolls in as round as round can be and still be lawful for street use without being radiated up by extraterrestrials for drives around or epoxied somewhere near UFO Alarmists for Global Security. This present rocket’s lines shout: Women and kids, get back—young men, we’re going ballistic! Everyone sees it can do that (particularly the Ohio kid riding the trimmer who whipped around as though on a soft drink stool and gave some especially attractive ground cover a converse Mohawk). Any way you cut it when the SC appears on ”To Tell the Truth,” you’ll see which is a starship among fakers.

Actors to car ness must choose the option to keep a straight face; they started that way, as vehicles. Most games roadsters—even those sold at over the top costs—remain vehicles deep down. Numerous purveyors of sports roadsters just redo any old car—or even a decent new one—by warning two entryways (and a huge number of clients) and selling the close circumstantial result for significantly more cash.


Not Lexus. The SC sells for $38,635, which is $1650 not exactly the vehicle that put the line on the map. The’s SC400 will likely puncture the blue-strip market for sports/extravagance cars. Lexus intends to hit it where they ain’t (which means close to underhanded).


Would you be able to state “bull’s-eye”?

Lexus started the excursion into coupes­manship from a genuinely fresh start. Lexus decided to manage its smooth two-in addition to two from the texture of the starting point instead of cutting at the fine stitching of its chunkier four­ entryways. It surrendered everything except the LS’s smooth 32-valve 4.0-liter V-8 and its stirring 250 torque.

Imagination started once again, Lexus SC400 invoked a car interesting unto itself. Additionally to the plan world: the Lexus SC400 originators at Toyota’s Calty Design Research office in Newport Beach, California, taken care of their outlining and drafting helps. They exchanged the explicitness of their pencils and PCs to add the third element of playing, as talented kindergartners, with shapes made from inflatables and mortar. These malleable visual guides added a natural roundness that the planners shot, played with as though it were taffy and converted into mud models and a full-size model with never a general line drawn. The main specialist at Toyota in Tokyo, Seihachi Takahashi, so cherished the creators’ strange, evidently unproducible workmanship (C/D, June ’91) that he pledged to discover great approaches to construct it. He did. Lexus imagined new techniques to shape metal and rethought or moved an abundance of segments, from headlights to suspension designs, meticulously tucking previous difficulties inside.

On the off chance that the SC400 appears as though business, it’s likewise amazingly smooth. Regularly we abstain from running on about styling—you like it or don’t—yet exemplary lines stimulate us as clearly as incredible elements. The SC’s bumpers mix well with the tail and hood. The delicately inclined however freshly complemented vee of the hood turns down toward the focal point of the adjusted nose, at that point veers outward in unmistakable “ells” that copy and mirror the adapted “L” inside the Lexus logo—a touch consummated incongruity of thought and line. The even ovals of the detachable cornering lights help through to the side mirrors; the upstanding ovals of the little projector headlights attract the eye to the SC’s beady glare; the delicate belt of the guard offers a path to the air dam’s distinct Porsche-like animosity.

LOWS: Suspension isn’t the best on poor Midwestern streets; dispose of that spoiler.

However, we’re not blinded by the beams from the Rising Sun. The SC’s lodge sits on the lower body like a .22 Short adhered to a .308 round. “Simple access” pivots don’t let the entryways open far enough to genuinely ease access. The bird’s-eye maple trim looks coarser than some phony wood-grains. The discretionary settling wing watches strange on the SC’s tasteful tail. The SC’s profile and the brightwork around its side glass recommend the lines of the Lamborghini 400GT 2+2 inherent Italy twenty years back. Furthermore, the ten-talked combination wheels, regardless of present-day 7.0-by-16-inch measurements, appear as though the British-fabricated Minilites of a similar period.


Our time now and then brings propels. Take the SC400’s “keen” electronically controlled programmed transmission, the ECT-I. The “I” probably represents the nature of the cerebrum. It ain’t idiotic. A switch on the support gives a decision among force and typical modes, changing movement focuses. The moving remaining parts were smooth yet firm enough to advise you that you’re gunning a games car. In any case, we wish more smarts had been placed into the overdrive selector. You can leave the OD button connected with and space the switch into Drive, yet on the off chance that you need more control, you should utilize a catch to get into and out of top rigging. An additional indent for overdrive would polish off the smooth move activity impeccably.

The Lexus SC400 roadster and car highlight comparable control-arm suspensions, however low-­mounted upper aluminum arms in the front, extra-unbending mounting focuses in the back, in addition to the sportier calculation for what it’s worth, recognize the car’s format.

The suspension demonstrates commonly firm yet smooth and permeable. Minor tire pound veils any suspension clamor, and in any event, running in quick forward happens in relative calm. Just reprehensibly messy Michigan streets shocked the SC as though its lower legs were melded. Notwithstanding the fundamental immovability, hard slowing down brings more plunge than we’d like in the wake of expenditure a huge number of miles in an Infiniti Q45 with dynamic suspension. Our respect for “old” elements, regardless of how clever, endures appropriately. Indeed, even the most recent Acura Legend roadster—one of those entryway erased vehicles—absorbs really precarious streets more helpfully than the Lexus, and for fairly less cash. Out in the open, however, the generous Lexus V-8 conveys the day over the Legend’s less healthy V-6. The SC400 additionally wins for unadulterated motor sounds, baying more blissfully than Lexus SC400 permits in the car.

In the midst of the noteworthy calm of cruising through town, you understand how effectively everything in the SC hums, networks, and skims. The 225/55VR-16 Goodyear Eagle GS-Ds, options in contrast to Bridgestone Potenza RE93s, stay silent on most asphalt. The Eagles hold tight when the skies open and threaten to shut down the streets. A tempest hit with repulsive breezes that leveled side of the road reflectors, however, the SC actually felt strong. The large roadster tramlines in truck trenches, however, and when it discovers them moved toward watering tanks it planes up like an Everglades fan boat. We shut off the SC’s discretionary foothold control (which comes packaged with warmed front seats for $1760) in light of the fact that it feels spooky. Foothold control resembles ABS and all-wheel drive: it can’t generally work. Maybe the following designers will consummate the framework with better reasoning and a superior mind.



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